Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) Executive Chef Eric Gburski and Owner Brian Poe are rolling out weekend brunch at Estelle’s and Gburski will be serving up some Southern-inspired homestyle attractions.

For starters, options include: Spicy Smoked-Chicken Liver Deviled Eggs ($3.95); Estelle’s House Pickle Plate (a variety of seasonal pickles with a pickled egg & buttermilk ranch sauce - $6.25); “No Tomatoes, No Beans & No Crying” Authentic Texas Chili (spicy beef & beer chili with cheddar cheese, sour cream & cilantro - $7.95); Buttermilk Biscuits & Sausage Gravy ($6.95); and, Crispy Fried Chicken Livers (with orange marmalade, garlic seared greens & tobacco onions - $6.95).

Gburski is also serving up eight signature brunch plates with selections like: Pain Perdu (Louisiana French toast with sweet battered brioche with orange marmalade & molasses grilled banana - $8.95); Stuffed French Toast “Monte Cristo Style” (smoked turkey, Tasso ham & Gruyère cheese crispy fried with spiced fries - $12.95); Wings Over Waffles (buttermilk fried chicken wings with cornmeal Belgian waffles & dried cranberry gastrique - $10.95); Brisket & Sweet Potato Hash (with cheesy scrambled eggs, buttered toast & house jelly - $12.95); and, Frank’s Brunch Burger (topped with a single runny egg, cheddar cheese, tobacco onions & spicy aioli with house cut fries - $12.95).

Estelle’s will offer a variety of side orders such as: Molasses Grilled Banana ($4.25); Watermelon Radish Salad ($3.25); Garlic Seared Greens ($3.95); Red Beans & Rice ($4.25); and, “Hot as Hell” Scotch Bonnet Sausage ($4.95).  To wash it all down, there are three specialty cocktails ($8.95 each): Mimosa; South End Screwdriver; and, Bloody Estelle’s.

Estelle’s will serve weekend brunch from 11am-3pm.

2) The Beehive is hosting its first-ever holiday Gospel Concert featuring The Roxbury Presbyterian Praise Team on Wednesday, December 19th, from 8pm-12am. Guests can enjoy their favorite holiday melodies while enjoying food and drink including specials from the evening’s sponsor, Bulleit Rye.

The evening’s entertainment will be led by Aaron Bellamy, who has put on many jazz-induced funky performances at The Beehive as co-leader of the Funky Abs. He is the go-to bassist for funk in Boston, but on December 19th he will show his talents in the gospel genre as he leads his band and four singers from his regular Sunday appearance at The Roxbury Presbyterian Church in taking the stage to perform soul-inspired Christmas classics.

The Beehive’s professional bartender team will be serving up some of their highly acclaimed cocktails from the from sponsor Bulleit Rye including the El Chicano, made with Bulleit Rye, Kahlua, Coffee Bitters and a Dash of Illegal Mezcal Joven, $12.50, and other specialty cocktails available that night only.

For dinner reservations or for more information please call 617-423-0069. No cover charge, cash bar, reservations recommended.

3) In the holiday spirit, next week's Cheese Tuesday at L’Espalier will be a very special one for fromager and maitre d’ Louis Risoli – host of the evening – as he celebrates “An Italian Holiday” family tradition with guests, featuring his favorite Italian cheeses and a three-course holiday feast prepared from his family's generations-old recipes.

On the menu, guests will find dishes that Louis’ aunts, mother and Nonna prepared every Christmas and Easter, all served with complementary wines (the family is from Piacenza, Italy, so Parmigiano Reggiano is sure to be a star ingredient). This is a Cheese Tuesday near and dear to Louis’ heart, as he and Chef de cuisine Matt Delisle recently spent an entire day learning to prepare this holiday meal with Louis’ relatives. Enjoy this meaningful meal as Louis shares family stories, and end the evening with an unforgettable “cheese song”.

Cheese Tuesday is hosted by Fromager and Mâitre d’ Louis Risoli and Sommelier Erich Schliebe who offer a tasting event that combines wine and cheese in a casual setting with commentary about each course and its wine pairing, respectively. Cheese Expert Louis Risoli has defined the role of Grand Fromager across the East Coast, is a speaker at national cheese conferences, and is well versed in worldwide cheese varietals and culinary cheese trends. He is one of the few individuals in the country to recently receive certification as an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional ™.

Sommelier Erich Schliebe loves wine because a good bottle has everything he loves about literature: history, geography, sociology, economics, science, and psychology. He can be found comparing wine characteristics to famous artwork, martial artists, and rock bands, making the extent of his wine knowledge approachable and fun.

An "Italian Holiday" will be held on Tuesday, December 18, at 7pm.  The cost is $85 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling L’Espalier directly at (617) 262-3023.

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